December 2013 marked the end of our 5th year as HubSpot customers and 4th year as HubSpot partners.
You can read prior reviews here: HubSpot Review Year 1 HubSpot Review Year 2 HubSpot Review Year 3 HubSpot Review Year 4
I realize now that we were very early adopters of an important new paradigm in marketing and one from which there is no turning back, once the journey is begun.
2013 marked the year that inbound marketing “crossed-the-chasm” from the realm of the early adopter into the early majority in the cycle of adoption of discontinuous technology.
HubSpot, in 2008 had a few hundred customers and the product compared to today was crude and limited in function.
It was basic and unsophisticated, but perfectly functional for content creation and inbound marketing as it was then.
Today HubSpot is a company of more than 400 employees, 10,000+ customers and more than 1000 partners. The product is unrecognizable from its early beginnings and leads the industry in functionality and usability.
In short, the product is a complete integrated tool-set for inbound marketing, which if used in conjunction with the HubSpot methodology will produce predictable and measurable results, a high ROI and a content legacy that will produce traffic and leads for years to come.
There are no short-cuts to inbound marketing success. The product and the methodology works as advertised. The results are tangible, progress is visible – or otherwise.
The chart shows our traffic and leads and sources for the past 5 years.
In May 2013, I began a marketing consulting with a sales and marketing messaging alignment project WittyParrot
, an exciting new Bay Area technology company. You can download my new eBook Sales and Marketing Alignment, Content Capture and Reuse
which is a result of that engagement on their new website; one of the first on the new Enterprise Hubspot COS, which went live in late October.
Most of my effort is now going into WittyParrot in the role of VP Marketing, which explains the drop in traffic on Admarco.
The first 100 days with WittyParrot have been astonishing and I will write about that in a different article.
Crossing the Chasm into an Avalanche of Content
5 years ago it was relatively easy to rank for long tail keywords, with search volumes less than 200 per month.
You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to create optimized on-page SEO with HubSpot, it was common sense (and still is) with a well though-out set of keywords. We never spent a day building back-links, we bought into the quality content creation strategy and decided to let this drive our success.
If you wrote a solid article every week, followed the HubSpot methodology, it got read, tweeted and shared on LinkedIn and it was not unusual for a small business like ours to get 200-300 visits for an article and to rank for important keywords in a few weeks or months.
Publishing a new eBook
or white paper could produce hundreds of downloads in a day.
Five years later it is much harder to create content that ranks in Google.
It’s much harder to get people to read your stuff and download your Top of Funnel offers.
People are buried under an avalanche of content and most of its mediocre.
Quality is King
Content is no longer king, it’s suffocating me and I want to turn the volume off, or at least way down.
Dr Mani’s brilliant article, published on the WittyParrot website, “whittle down and tune-in”
highlights the problem and a solution.
Counter-intuitively, Dr. Mani suggests that smaller is better than big when it comes to social networks.
That is you have to reduce the size of your social network to improve the quality of your interactions.
I’m much more selective who I follow and what I read because there is so much of it coming past every day.
I have no time for spammy email, I only read a few LinkedIn group postings and I’m very selective about the email open.
On content that I create, I strive to write original and thought provoking content and after 500 blog posts I’m getting better at writing.
Quality is everything.
But this is old news.
Inbound Sales = Content + Context
HubSpot is leading the inbound sales
movement in the same way they led the inbound marketing movement.
Buyers are most likely to be receptive to a conversation with a vendor/supplier when they are on your Website, when they are viewing a video or reading your content.
Would you prefer, an in-context conversation with an informed salesperson who is offering help when you are actively engaged in exploring options?
Or would you rather take a call from a sales closer who is trying to make their number this month, a week after you downloaded a white paper?
Or perhaps an endless stream of canned email that someone has spent a lot of time in a marketing automation and designed for your “persona” hoping it will strike a chord?
Download the guide to building highly responsive sales teams
to find out more. Real-time Signals
Responsive engagement in real-time in the buyer’s context seems intuitively to be a better strategy for engaging and facilitating buyers vs. programmatic canned responses.
Signals is a new product incubated within HubSpot that facilitates real-time engagement, which is integrated with HubSpot, but is available as a stand-alone product.
I tried Signals
when it was released – and I could immediately see in real-time when someone opened my email or clicked on a link and watched a video or downloaded something.
I was hooked on the product after a one-month free trial and gladly pay the $10 per month for the premium version.
New Content Optimization System.
Hooray for the new CMS. The old one was a dog. I have not fully mastered the new COS yet, but its powerful, fast and positions HubSpot as a leader in terms of function and modularity and adaptive output… and did anyone mention it’s the fastest CMS out there?
No doubt the content avalanche will continue and get bigger, but not better.
HubSpot will continue to deliver tools that anticipate solutions to the problems and give us finer control over who and what we tune into.
I’m hoping to see the excellent HubSpot contacts system evolve more CRM functionality so that I can switch off Salesforce.com system as it adds marginal value to HubSpot.
The future belongs to the innovators who combine Responsiveness with Context and where their sales and marketing organizations deliver insight.
HubSpot is setting a brisk pace for innovation and leading the transformation of the marketing industry.
The future is very bright for HubSpot and I’m glad to be a part of it.